CHR to gov’t: Address alleged human rights abuses in 3rd martial law extension
MANILA, Philippines — The government must address the alleged human rights abuses in the region following the Supreme Court’s (SC) approval of the third extension of martial law in Mindanao, the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) said on Wednesday.
“While the said declaration is still in effect, we continue to remind the government to ensure that alleged human rights violations are addressed, such as claims of torture, profiling, and other infringement of rights caused by continuing internal displacement of communities arising even from its first instance of declaration,” CHR spokesperson Jacqueline de Guia said in a statement.
On Tuesday, the high court, voting 9-4, affirmed the legality of another extension of martial law in Mindanao up to Dec. 31, 2019.
“The Supreme Court ruled to uphold the constitutionality of the extension of the declaration of martial law and the suspension of the privilege of writ of habeas corpus in Mindanao until December 31, 2019,” SC Public Information Chief lawyer Brian Keith Hosaka said.
CHR said it respects the SC ruling but maintained that martial law must be reserved as an extraordinary measure for “lawless violence, invasion or rebellion,” according to provisions in the 1987 Constitution.
“The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) respects the decision of the Supreme Court ruling that the third extension of martial law as constitutional,” De Guia said. “However, CHR maintains that such declaration should be reserved as an extraordinary measure for lawless violence, invasion or rebellion, as determined in the Constitution, and should never be the norm.”
The rights body added that the country’s police and military forces can address terrorism without martial law.
“As previously expressed, we are confident that our security forces, police and military combined, can effectively address terrorism and other lawless elements in Mindanao without the need for martial law,” De Guia said. /ee
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.